Young People Ask
How Can I Make Worship of God Enjoyable?
Josh, 16, is sprawled out on his bed. His mom stands at the doorway. “Joshua, get up!” she says sternly. “You know it’s a meeting night!” Josh is being raised as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and attendance at Christian meetings is a regular part of family worship. Lately, though, Josh hasn’t felt inclined to attend.
“Oh, Mom,” he groans, “do I really have to go?”
“Stop complaining and get dressed,” she replies. “I don’t want to be late again!” She turns and starts to walk away.
“Look, Mom,” Josh blurts out while she’s still within earshot. “This may be your religion, but that doesn’t mean it’s mine.” He knows his mom heard that, because the sound of her footsteps has stopped. Then, without responding, she continues walking away.
Josh feels a twinge of guilt. He doesn’t really want to hurt his mom. But he doesn’t want to apologize either. The only thing he can do is . . .
With a sigh, Josh gets out of bed and starts getting dressed. Then he says, more to himself than to his mom: “Sooner or later I’m going to have to make my own decision. I’m not like the others at the Kingdom Hall. I’m just not cut out to be a Christian!”
HAVE you ever felt the way Josh does in this scenario? At times, does it seem that while others enjoy Christian activities, you’re just going through the motions? For instance:
▪ Is studying the Bible just like another homework assignment to you?
▪ Do you dread taking part in the door-to-door ministry?
▪ Do you often find yourself bored at Christian meetings?
If your answer is yes to questions like these, don’t be discouraged. With a few adjustments, you can learn to enjoy serving God. Let’s see how.
Challenge #1: Studying the Bible
Why it’s not easy. Maybe you feel you’re just not the “studying type.” Your attention span seems short—it’s hard to sit still and concentrate! Besides, don’t you have enough studying to do for school?
Why you should do it. Not only is the Bible inspired of God but it’s also “useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live.” (2 Timothy 3:16, Contemporary English Version) Studying the Bible and meditating on what you read can open up a whole new world for you. Let’s face it, nothing worthwhile comes to you without some hard work. If you want to play a sport well, you’ve got to learn the rules and practice the game. If you want to get fit, you need to exercise. If you want to learn about your Creator, you need to study God’s Word.
What some of your peers say. “I came to a crossroads in my life when I got to high school. The kids were doing all sorts of wrong things, and I had to make some decisions: ‘Is that what I want to do? Are my parents really teaching me the truth?’ I had to find out for myself.”—Tshedza.
“I always believed that what I had learned was the truth, but I needed to prove it to myself. I had to make it my own religion—as opposed to it being just a family religion.”—Nelisa.
What you can do. Make up your own, customized personal study plan. You get to choose which subjects you’ll explore. Where could you start? Why not dig into your Bible and scrutinize your beliefs, perhaps using a book such as What Does the Bible Really Teach? *
Action plan. To get you started, check two or three of the Bible topics below that you want to learn more about—or, if you like, write in some of your own.
□ Is there a God?
□ How can I be sure that the Bible writers were inspired by God?
□ Why should I believe in creation rather than evolution?
□ What is God’s Kingdom, and how can I prove its existence?
□ How can I explain my belief about what happens at death?
□ Why should I be convinced that there will be a resurrection?
□ How can I be sure which is the true religion?
Challenge #2: Engaging in the Ministry
Why it’s not easy. Talking to others about the Bible—or encountering a schoolmate while doing so—can be scary.
Why you should do it. Jesus instructed his followers: “Make disciples . . . , teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19, 20) But there are further reasons to do it. Studies suggest that in some places the vast majority of teens believe in God and in the Bible. Yet, those same youths have no genuine hope for the future. Through your study of the Bible, you have the very information that many of your peers are searching for and need!
What some of your peers say. “My friend and I prepared effective introductions, and we learned how to overcome objections and how to make return visits. Once I started putting more into my ministry, it became more enjoyable.”—Nelisa.
“One Christian sister has helped me out so much! She’s six years older than I am, and she takes me out in the ministry with her and sometimes out to breakfast. She showed me encouraging scriptures that helped me to rearrange my thinking. I find that now I reach out to people more because of her wonderful example. I could never repay her!”—Shontay.
What you can do. With your parents’ permission, find someone in your congregation who is older than you and with whom you can share in the ministry. (Acts 16:1-3) The Bible states: “By iron, iron itself is sharpened. So one man sharpens the face of another.” (Proverbs 27:17) There are many benefits to associating with older ones who have a wealth of experience. “It’s actually a relief to be around older ones,” says 19-year-old Alexis.
Action plan. Below, write the name of someone in your congregation in addition to your parents who could assist you in the ministry.
Challenge #3: Attending Christian Meetings
Why it’s not easy. After sitting in class all day, an hour or two of listening to Bible-based talks might seem like an eternity.
Why you should do it. The Bible exhorts Christians: “Let us consider one another to incite to love and fine works, not forsaking the gathering of ourselves together, as some have the custom, but encouraging one another, and all the more so as you behold the day drawing near.”—Hebrews 10:24, 25.
What some of your peers say. “Preparing for congregation meetings is an absolute must. Sometimes you just have to motivate yourself. When you do prepare, you enjoy the meetings because you know what’s being discussed, and you can even participate.”—Elda.
“At one point, I began to notice that when I gave comments at the meetings, those meetings became much more interesting to me.”—Jessica.
What you can do. Take time to prepare in advance, and if you can, offer a comment. This will help you to feel more a part of what is going on.
To illustrate: What’s more enjoyable—watching a sport on television or playing it on the field? Obviously, being a participant is more rewarding than being a spectator. Why not take that approach to Christian meetings?
Action plan. In the space below, write down the time when you can spend just 30 minutes each week preparing for a congregation meeting.
Many youths are experiencing the truthfulness of Psalm 34:8, which says: “Taste and see that Jehovah is good.” How satisfying is it to hear about a mouthwatering dish? Isn’t it better to savor the food for yourself? It’s the same with worshipping God. Taste and see for yourself how rewarding it is to participate in spiritual activities. The Bible says that the one who is not just a hearer but a doer of the work “will be happy in his doing it.”—James 1:25.
More articles from the “Young People Ask” series can be found at the Web site www.watchtower.org/ype
^ par. 19 Published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
TO THINK ABOUT
▪ Why might spiritual activities seem boring to a teenager?
▪ Which of the three aspects of worship discussed in this article would you like to work on, and how will you do so?
[Picture on page 20, 21]
If you want to become physically fit, you need to exercise. If you want to become spiritually fit, you need to study God’s Word